The development of Writing is considered one of the most important advances of civilization. From that point, history began, as defined by written records first inscribed on clay tablets or carved into stone. The significance of Writing is that it allowed ideas and knowledge to be stored and passed on over distance and time, far removed from the originator. Prior to this, communication had to take place face-to-face. Writing greatly accelerated the advance of knowledge because what was known in the past did not have to be relearned by each new generation.